Whilst T-Cellular forges forward with its 5G community rollout, the proportion of LTE knowledge site visitors supported by its 600 MHz spectrum greater than doubled within the final 12 months, a brand new Tutela report reveals.

Granted, at round 4% total, it’s nonetheless small in comparison with T-Cellular’s a lot larger reliance on mid-band 1700 MHz Band 66 (48%) and 1900 MHz (31%) for LTE, however Tutela analyst Chris Mills cited the influence of T-Cellular’s widespread and aggressive 600 MHz rollout.

Because the report reveals, T-Cellular’s 600 MHz continues to be principally a protection band fairly than capability.

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“Although there are much more folks accessing that 600 MHz spectrum –  its utilization has doubled in a 12 months – it’s nonetheless a comparatively small proportion of the general knowledge site visitors for T-Cellular,” Mills stated, which is what he anticipated and largely how T-Cellular has positioned its use of the low-band frequencies.

In places with the heaviest knowledge utilization, corresponding to city and downtown areas, T-Cellular’s “nonetheless relying very closely on that mid-band [LTE] spectrum.”  

Mills attributed the elevated LTE site visitors load on 600 MHz largely to extra appropriate handsets coming available on the market within the final 12 months, in addition to further website deployments. Presently T-Cellular has greater than 80 devices (together with tablets) that help 600 MHz LTE.

Tutela 2020 State of mobile experience LTE volume



In Tutela’s 2020 U.S. State of Mobile Experience report, carriers’ respective community performances had been  inside eyesight of each other, with T-Cellular and Verizon each delivering the perfect constant person expertise. Verizon nonetheless topped the leaderboard for protection and median obtain velocity, whereas T-Cellular received for add, and was first alongside AT&T for latency. 

Protection is one space that Verizon continues to dominate nationwide, with a rating of 730 out of 1,000 throughout applied sciences together with 3G, versus T-Cellular at 486. The report nonetheless separates out Dash and T-Cellular however trying on the mixed new T-Cellular, the operator’s protection rating jumps to 615, nearer to AT&T’s 656 rating.

This 12 months’s report ranked ‘Glorious Constant High quality’ – a metric that T-Cellular and Verizon tied at 83.4%. This measure means a connection is appropriate for extra intensive functions like HD video calling, cell gaming or high-quality video streaming.

The constant high quality metric is designed to point out how regularly customers get outcomes above a sure threshold. As for the driving force of this end result, an operator might have a better peak velocity however sees extra congestion on their community extra regularly, in response to Mills. Consistency throughout different metrics like latency and reliability are additionally factored in.

Apparently, when a regional breakdown of the wonderful consistency rating, T-Cellular received in a number of states the place the operator made a few of its greatest and early investments in 600 MHz for LTE, he famous. That features Wyoming, which is house to T-Cellular’s first 600 MHz LTE market of Cheyenne. Different state wins that correlate with its early 600 MHz deployments embody Oregon, Important, and Texas.

“You may see the advance within the locations the place T-Cellular’s put probably the most into 600 MHz,” Mills stated of T-Cellular’s regional wins. “However states the place possibly [T-Mobile] didn’t have such a protection problem earlier than, I don’t suppose it’s made as a lot of a distinction.”

T-Cellular first began its speedy 600 MHz LTE deployment in 2017, when it had on common about 31-megahertz nationwide.  In July of this 12 months the FCC formally wrapped up the 39-month repacking course of, which means broadcasters had been cleared and relocated from the band.  

To make certain, T-Cellular is barely devoting a portion of its 600 MHz holdings to LTE because it dedicates a part of the spectrum for the protection layer of its nationwide standalone 5G community. T-Cellular says it’s 5G community covers greater than 7,500 cities throughout 1.3 million sq. miles. With standalone 5G, T-Cellular not depends on an LTE core.

It’s additionally deploying mid-band 2.5 GHz from Dash for 5G to ship each protection and capability, at this time saying 121 new places. 

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In the meantime, T-Cellular’s growing share of 600 MHz airwaves have come into focus for much less favorable causes of late – as rivals AT&T and Verizon not too long ago raised concerns concerning the rising depth of latest T-Cellular’s low- and mid-band belongings.